By Duane Fonseca
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum celebrated Group Two success at Newmarket on Thursday after Communique romped home a thorough winner in the Princess Of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes.
Trained by Mark Johnston and ridden by Silvestre De Sousa, the 4yo son of Casamento, ran happily behind Dashing Willoughby in the 2400m contest and was always in a good position to strike.
He was let loose two furlongs out and came home strongly winning by a length and three quarters from Mirage Dancer, trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore.
It Johnston’s fifth win in the race and the trainer quipped: “We came here today expecting to win one Tattersalls-sponsored Group 2 but it wasn’t this one if I'm honest.”
He added: “Communique doesn’t have to make the running and he enjoyed just bowling along behind the leader. We know he likes the course as he’s won on both tracks here (he won the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes on the Rowley Mile in May).
“He hasn’t disappointed us at all this season and the small field and slow pace have suited him today. He’s won two at Group 2 level now and hopefully he can crack a Group 1.
“"He’s had a couple of tries in Group 1 company and come up a little bit short but, on his day, he’s that class. There's no doubt about it. There are a couple in Germany that I have in mind for him next.”
Running in third a further half length behind Mirage Dancer was Desert Encounter, with 2018 Epsom Derby hero Masar, the favourite, trailing home last in the field of six, despite looking keen early on.